Thursday, May 23, 2024

Cursed? “Green Book,” Chosen by National Board of Review, Which Hasn’t Picked an Oscar Best Picture in a Decade


The National Board of Review winners almost never win Oscars. That’s the curse of the NBR, which I’ve written about extensively.

So imagine how the producers of “Green Book” and the stars of “A Star is Born” felt yesterday. They won the NBR’s main awards. In the case of the latter it was Bradley Cooper for Best Director and Lady Gaga as Best Actress, Viggo Mortensen for Best Actor. “A Star is Born” actor Sam Elliot also won Best Supporting Actor.

This checks off the list for NBR’s Annie Schulhof, who has given Warner Bros. most of her awards over the last decade. “A Star is Born” is Warners. “Green Book” is Universal, so Shotgun Annie has guaranteed two big studios will pay for most of her tables at the early January shindig thrown by NBR. Annie really doubled down on Warner Bros. by giving “Crazy Rich Asians” Best Ensemble.

Tomorrow, these awards start getting real with the New York Film Critics Circle. I think we’ll see “Roma” there, and some more interesting stuff since the NYFCC has no backs to pat or pockets to be in. Schulhof also got a few in for A24 including “First Reformed,” “Lean on Pete,” “Eighth Grade,” and “Mid 90s.” Schulhof ignored SOny Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight because they wouldn’t play her game.

But that curse– what about the curse? Last year “The Post” won Best Feature here. They have not chosen an Oscar Best Picture since 2008 with “Slumdog Millionaire.” I fear now for “Green Book.” What will this do to its chances?


Best Director: Bradley Cooper, A STAR IS BORN

Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, GREEN BOOK

Best Actress: Lady Gaga, A STAR IS BORN

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A STAR IS BORN

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED

Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Animated Feature: INCREDIBLES 2

Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE

Best Directorial Debut: Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE

Best Foreign Language Film: COLD WAR

Best Documentary: RBG


William K. Everson Film History Award: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND and THEY’LL LOVE ME WHEN I’M DEAD

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: 22 JULY

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: ON HER SHOULDERS

Top Films (in alphabetical order)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Black Panther

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

A Quiet Place


A Star Is Born

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)



The Guilty

Happy as Lazzaro


Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)

Crime + Punishment

Free Solo

Minding the Gap

Three Identical Strangers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)

The Death of Stalin

Lean on Pete

Leave No Trace


The Old Man & the Gun

The Rider


Sorry to Bother You

We the Animals

You Were Never Really Here

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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